"This morning marks 50 days since the start of this important dispute," Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Sydney branch assistant secretary Paul Garrett told Green Left Weekly on September 25. He was speaking at the community assembly outside the Hutchison Ports terminal at Port Botany, which was set up after the company's sudden sacking of 97 waterside workers by text and email on August 6.
A community assembly is holding firm outside the Hutchison terminal at Port Botany, with 24-hour attendance and regular gatherings of maritime workers from Hutchison and the other operators, Patricks and DP World. There is a similar assembly at the Port of Brisbane. The assemblies were established after the provocative sacking of 97 waterfront workers at the two ports at midnight on August 6 and have been maintained as "solidarity camps" ever since. The sackings, imposed via text and email messages, shocked workers in the maritime industry and throughout the whole union movement.